Porsche has given its mid-engined Cayman the full-on GT treatment, with the new GT4. The race-focused Cayman shares some of its components with the 911 GT3, but eschews its double-clutch gearbox for a more involving six-speed manual transmission on the way to a 7:40 laptime around the Nurburgring Nordschleife.
Under the Cayman's shapely bodywork hides a 3.8-liter, flat-six engine derived from the 911 Carrera S. The motor produces 385 hp (283 kW) at a lofty 7,400 rpm, making the GT4 the most powerful Cayman ever. That's powerful enough to shoot it from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 183 mph (295 km/h).
Economy might not be the focus of a car like the GT4, but it will nonetheless return decent economy figures, with its New European Drive Cycle test returning 27.4 mpg (8.6 l/100km) and CO2 emissions of 238 g/km.
While these might be impressive numbers, there is more to the Cayman GT4 than a powerful engine. Porsche has lowered the car by 30 mm (1.2 in) compared to the standard Cayman, with uprated brakes and active transmission mounts in order to make the handling sharper than that of the Cayman and Cayman S.
As well as the uprated engine, Porsche has done some serious work on the vehicle's aerodynamics. A new front bumper with larger intakes and a fixed rear wing provide the Cayman with more downforce at high speeds than the standard car's body provides, while choice pieces of the 911 GT3 chassis tech have also found their way onto the GT4.
Being a German sportscar, there are plenty of expensive options available to aid the Cayman GT4's track credentials. For a fee, Porsche will replace the GT4's standard steel brake discs with its PCCB carbon-ceramic ceramic system, while the Cayman's seats can be replaced by CFRP backed units that save weight.
Speaking of the Cayman's seats, Porsche is adamant that the Cayman GT4 "retains the versatility and everyday utility that are typical of a Porsche," despite its sporting pretensions. Leather and Alcantara trimmed sport seats are standard, and Porsche claims they will be characterized by their "very good lateral support" – perfect for holding owners in place as they fling their GT4s around the world's racetracks.
Considering Porsche expects most GT4s to spend time on the track, it's no surprise that a mechanical limited-slip differential and torque-vectoring have been included on the standard equipment list, nor is it surprising to see the brand offering owners a complimentary course at the Silverstone Porsche Experience Center.
So how much will all of this flat-six powered trackday prowess cost? In the UK, the GT4 will set you back £64,451 (about US$98,000). The new Porsche is set to make a world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show next month.